The road to creative expression is a long and winding one. While quite young at just 20 years old, Iann Dior tried a few different mediums before settling down with music. In his teen years, he made "entertainment videos" for Instagram and Twitter, and also posted to YouTube, trying his hand at being a personality. He wrote music for fun here and there while in high school, but didn't give it a real go until he was older.

Iann moved to Los Angeles to pursue music and joined the Internet Money team, a collective of producers and artists led by Taz Taylor. This union produced the 2019 songs "Cutthroat" and "Emotions," the latter of which became a breakout hit.

Iann's style can best be described as toeing the line between rapping and singing. His lyrics skew towards personal stories of love—in July he dropped "Gone Girl," a Trippie Redd-assisted single about a doomed romance. Now with his debut project Industry Plant available everywhere, Iann is ready to take his momentum all the way to the top.

Catch up with Iann Dior's journey so far in this week's edition of XXL's The Break.

Age: 20

Hometown: Corpus Christi, Texas

I grew up listening to: "Drake, J. Cole, All-American Rejects. I like Panic! At The Disco, Frank Ocean. A majority of it was J.Cole when I was growing up, though. My parents were super strict and I would get in trouble for listening to curse words, so I'd be all sneaky with it."

My style’s been compared to: "Juice Wrld [and] Lil Skies. They say we have a similar voice. Those are the two biggest ones. That's why with this album, I'm playing away from all that. It doesn't sound like anybody. It's more like emo, pop, disco shit."

My standout records to date have been: "A lot of people come up to me and say that they know me for 'Gone Girl' and 'Emotions.' Those are the two biggest ones now, but I think the Gunna record is gonna make a statement soon."

My most slept-on song is: "I really like 'Romance361,' just because it brings me back, memories from being back home. That's just my personal favorite, so of course I think it's slept on. I want people to really listen to it and feel what I feel. I don't really think any of my songs are really slept on. They're gonna get out as much as they're supposed to."

My standout moments to date have been: "Rolling Loud Bay Area. That shit was crazy. It was like one of those things—they called me up to come on backstage and I just looked out and saw thousands of heads. I was like, 'What the fuck did I do?' That shit was crazy, that's one of the memories I'll always have. That was my biggest performance. It was fun."

Most people don’t know: "Spanish is my first language. I just kinda keep that quiet. Since I moved to the States, I kinda lost the accent. I speak it fluently. My mom speaks Spanish to me every day. I just don't have an accent. So, nobody really knows. Eventually, I'm gonna cross over to Latin music."

I’m going to blow up because: "I feel like there's nobody in this world like me. I'm just gonna keep doing me. I'm not really ever worried about what everybody else is doing. I'm kinda in my own world. I just stay around the same people, in the same circle. It stays genuine. We're just having fun making music. I don't really think about the whole blowing-up shit. If they like the music and it does what it does, don't fix it if it's not broken."

I’m going to be the next: "Big thing. That's just my mentality. I'm in my own world, and I'm telling myself, I'ma speak it into existence. You say it enough times, it's eventually gonna happen."

Follow Iann Dior on Instagram and SoundCloud.



"Gone Girl" featuring Trippie Redd

"Strings" featuring Gunna

"Darkside" featuring Travis Barker

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